China’s ‘Singles Day,’ By The Numbers

Jack Ma kicks off Singles Day
Jack Ma kicks off Singles Day in China.
Getty Images.

Alibaba’s early performance indicators show that this year’s Singles Day was a blowout.

The e-commerce promotional sales event, held each year on Nov. 11, was started in 2009 by 27 merchants to fill a gap in China’s retail calendar. Singles Day celebrates young Chinese single people’s independence by encouraging them to treat themselves to a special purchase.

Over the years, the day has exploded in popularity. In 2014, more than $9.3 billion worth of purchases were placed during the 24-hour period through China’s top payment platform, Alipay. And at least 27,000 merchants from across the globe participated. By comparison, 2014’s Cyber Monday promotional event generated an estimated $2.65 billion in sales.

Here are the stats to know about this year’s Singles Day:

  • Alibaba featured 6 million products by 30,000 brands.
  • Alibaba said $14.32 billion was spent on the website during Singles Day.
  • Shoppers have spent more than $9 billion in the first 12 hours.
  • Over 70 million people used a mobile device to shop Alibaba by 2 p.m. China time.
  • Sales on Alibaba via its Alipay platform topped $5 billion in the first 90 minutes of the e-commerce sale.